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By: Malan Darras
Song: Nothing Left Behind
Date: April 6 2015
When your feet are standing
On shaky ground
Take one step forward now
When the game is over
Get out of town
Burn all your bridges down
Til there’s nothing left behind
When you see old memories
From the bad old days
Change all your evil ways
If your desparate demons
Are still hanging on
Cut right down through the bone
Til there’s nothing left behind.
Just keep losing your mind.
Till there’s nothing left behind.
The Story Behind ‘Nothing Left Behind’
On April 3rd, 2015 I got a new Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface in the mail. It’s a small, red box that lets me plug instruments and microphones into my computer.
I grabbed my acoustic guitar and decided to do a quick check to see what it was going to sound like.
I’ve been using a cheap usb mic lately and wanted to use my Brauner Phantom Classic again, which is why I needed the red box (phantom power).
I did a quick level check with a song I wrote a few days before. When I got done I listened to the playback and thought it was quite terrible.
The microphone sounded great, but I sounded awful. And the guitar was out of tune and had a dead battery. So the only guitar that was recorded was coming through the vocal mic. Total crap.
The next day I exported the song to my iPhone and listened to it while I went for a little walk around my neighborhood.
That’s when it hit me.
The song, while imperfect, is probably the closest I’ll ever get to being truthful on a recording.
Because no one was supposed to hear it. There was no thought about what it was going to sound like. No producer staring at me through the glass. No anxiety. No audience in mind. No commercial considerations.
This is exactly what it sounds like here in my apartment, when no one else is around. It’s just me, singing quietly and holding back a little so I don’t disturb the neighbors.
It’s a scratch track, but it’s perfect.
The more I listened to it the more I thought it was something I wanted to share. Because I know that the next time I hook that microphone up and start to play I’ll be thinking about things other than just the music.
I’ll never get another first shot like this.
So this is it. As raw as it gets.
Let me know what you think.